Buying a new car can be an exciting time, but with plenty of options on the market, the decision can quickly become overwhelming. While we may get distracted by sleek looks and the power under the hood, finding a vehicle that gives you lots of space and allows you to pack away plenty for the weekend – without the price tag of a 4WD – is a no-brainer at the dealership. As a result, it’s no shock that SUVs have become such a popular choice for Aussie motorists. But which model should you be looking at?
To help narrow down your search, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries releases a monthly report card on the best-selling cars in Australia – highlighting the most popular models on our roads. Check this page for regular updates on the best-selling SUVs, with December 2020 top-sellers listed below:
- Toyota RAV4
- Toyota Prado
- Toyota LandCruiser
- Mazda CX-5
- Nissan X-Trail
- Hyundai Kona
- Mitsubishi ASX
- Hyundai Tucson
- Subaru Forester
- Mitsubishi Outlander
#1 Toyota RAV4 – 3,542 sales
Selling over 3,500 units in December, the Toyota RAV4 is available in GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge varieties, giving motorists plenty of choices to get behind the wheel of. Drivers can also choose from a 6speed manual or 6speed automatic, with 2WD or AWD options additionally available, giving motorists plenty of options, regardless of where you do most of your driving.
Available with Toyota’s Safety Sense – which includes features such as Pre-Collision Safety, Lane Departure Alert, Active Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and even Blind Spot Monitors – RAV4 models are also available in either a 2.0L or 2.5L petrol model, with a 2.2L turbo diesel engine additionally available if you’re looking to put your foot down.
#2 Toyota Prado – 2,500 sales
One of Toyota’s more popular vehicles, the Prado sold exactly 2,500 units in December. Available in a number of models, including the GX, GXL, VX and Kakadu, each with 4WD and a 2.8L Turbo Diesel engine, providing plenty of grunt.
With five and seven-seat options available for families, the Prado includes Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System and Adaptive Variable Suspension to make your journey comfortable, with the Kakadu model coming with Multi-Terrain Select, ideal for those off-road expeditions. With bullbars, weathershields, and roof racks also available as additional extras, the Prado would be a useful addition in any lifestyle.
#3 Toyota LandCruiser – 2,235 sales
Another of the Japanese manufacturer’s large SUVs model on the list, the LandCruiser is a common sight out on the roads, owing to its 2,200 sales in December. Toyota’s longest running series model, the LandCruiser is a popular option for those who prefer to stick to the bitumen, or those who like to adventure off-road.
With a range that consists of the GX, GXL, VX and Sahara models, the LandCruiser is now available in 5, 7 or 8-seat models, giving you plenty of room for the family. Powered with a 4.6L V8 petrol or a 4.5L Turbo Diesel engine, the LandCruiser has plenty of grunt to get you where you need to go, along with its Multi-Terrain Select system to help the ride on the bumpiest of roads. With an Electro Multi Vision Screen also available on select models for all your tech and comfort needs, drivers can expect satellite navigation, plus Bluetooth connectivity, as well as Rear Seat Entertainment systems to keep the kids happy on those long road trips.
#4 Mazda CX-5 – 2,060 sales
Mazda’s flagship SUV model, the CX-5 is proving it still has what it takes in the SUV market, selling just over 2,000 models for December. Available in Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT and now the Akera models, the CX-5 provides plenty of comfort and safety for drivers, with 360° View Monitor, a 7inch LCD infotainment unit and Mazda Radar Cruise Control.
Now available with a turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine – capable of churning out 170kW of power – the Mazda CX-5 also contains i-ACTIV AWD, which utilises real time data from 27 different monitors to improve driver safety, regardless of the conditions. For those looking to put the foot down, a Kuroi Sports pack is additionally available for purchase, as is 19inch alloys and cargo illumination, to help personalise your ride.
#5 Nissan X-Trail – 1,822 sales
One of Nissan’s longest running and most popular vehicles, the latest generation X-Trail is still available in a variety of models, including the ST, ST-L, N-Sport and T range, with drivers able to choose between petrol or diesel models, and 5 or 7-seater varieties.
Selling over 1,800 units in December, the X-Trail includes features such as Intelligent Cruise Control, Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, as well as a Divide-n-Hide flexible cargo system for when you need to load up for those big weekend trips. For creature comfort, the X-Trail comes equipped with a 7inch touchscreen infotainment unit with built-in sat-nav, hands-free Bluetooth and keyless entry, allowing you to keep up with a busy lifestyle while staying safe on the road.
#6 Hyundai Kona – 1,785 sales
One of the more recent inclusions to Hyundai’s line-up, the small Kona sold over 1,700 units in December 2020. Offering plenty of models to choose from, the Kona range includes the likes of the Go, Active, Elite, Highlander and Electric model, along with a special Iron Man edition if you’re looking for something that stands out on the road.
With a two-tone roof, rear LED lights and alloy wheels on most models, the Kona additionally includes a heated steering wheel, sunroof and plenty of colour options for the interior trim and stitching, allowing you to well and truly make the SUV your own. With Hyundai Auto Link and SmartSense safety features also installed, the Kona looks to have found the middle ground between fun and sensible.
#7 Mitsubishi ASX – 1,756 sales
Adding plenty of competition to the SUV market, the Mitsubishi ASX sold over 1,700 units in December. Coming equipped with 18inch alloy wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, a panoramic glass roof with retractable sunshade and LED mood lighting, the ASX makes each drive an experience.
The ASX also comes equipped with the Smartphone Link Display Audio system, which is connected to a 7inch infotainment touch screen, capable of making and receiving phone calls, sorting out your music as well as a variety of other creature comforts. The interior also includes heated seats, steering wheel controls in addition to adjustable seats to help pack away those weekend camping essentials.
#8 Hyundai Tucson – 1,582 sales
The flagship SUV model for the Korean brand, the Hyundai Tucson sold under 1,600 units in December, with a range that includes the Active, Active X, Elite and Highlander varieties for drivers to test out. With multiple engine types available across the Tucson range, drivers can also opt for a 2WD or AWD model, with Hyundai additionally including Australian Tuned Suspension to suit the typical Aussie road trip.
With a Surround View Monitor (SVM) for increased road safety, the Tucson range also includes a panoramic glass sunroof, LED headlamps and even a heated steering wheel for those chilly mornings. Additional features include water resistant seat covers, bike racks and a portable cooler for when you need to keep chilled drinks close at hand.
#9 Subaru Forester – 1,480 sales
Now in its fifth generation, the Subaru Forester sold a little under 1,500 units in December, proving a popular option for those keen on an SUV. Available in a number of model varieties, the Forester comes with automatic transmission with a 4-cyclinder petrol engine, capable of a minimum output of 136kW.
Also featuring daytime LED running lights, dusk sensing headlights and a shark-fin antenna, the Forester’s interior additionally includes a 6.3inch Multi-Function Display unit, six speakers for all of your tunes, as well as a 60/40 split folding rear seats for when you’ve got plenty to pack away.
#10 Mitsubishi Outlander – 1,371 sales
One of Mitsubishi’s more popular models, the Outlander sold over 1,300 sales in December. Now in its third generation, the Outlander is available in either a 5-seater or 7-seater model, making it useful for Australian motorists with large families, regardless of how many you’re taking on a road trip.
Including Mitsubishi Motors’s Intuitive Technology – known as MiTEC – the Outlander includes safety features such as Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist, along with Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control for an easier trip, regardless of where you’re going. The Outlander is also available in either 2WD or AWD, with a Black Edition available for those looking for a style upgrade.
Which SUV should I buy?
While seeing what other people have bought may be a good starting place if you’re in the market for a new car, the decision will be unique to your situation, as well as your preferences. Those with a larger family may be more inclined to look at large SUVs such as the Toyota LandCruiser, while those who prefer an SUV but aren’t willing to spend big may be interested in the smaller Mazda CX-3 or Hyundai Kona. If you’re interested in finding out what is the most popular model on Aussie roads, head on over to our top selling cars page.
As with any big decision, it’s best to do your research before you step into a dealership, as factors such as fuel economy, safety, technology and extras could all sway your final decision, with each brand and SUV usually available with a variety of models. Comparing SUVs may be time-consuming, but will have been worth it when you get behind the wheel of your dream car, knowing you drove away with a good deal.
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